Three new studies to help revitalise the city’s CBD began in Armidale on Tuesday.
A parking and mobility, lighting and security, and a streetscape design study are all underway, marking the beginning of a $560,000 mall upgrade.
Armidale Regional Council’s organisational services leader Lindsay Woodland said it was important to conduct the studies now, to make best use of the available funds.
“You’ve got to do the studies first ... to understand what the cost are and what we need to do,” he said.
Council has also struck an informal partnership with Telstra to investigate bringing new smart technologies to the city.
“We’re getting more involved with smart cities,” Mr Woodland said.
“It’s actually part of a smart communities strategy.
“We’re looking at environment-friendly smart lighting [and] things like interactive wayfinding and signage."
On top of the $560,000 slated for the mall, Council may also apply for a smart cities grant to unlock extra funding upgrades.
“The focus for this [smart city funding] would probably be on the mall,” Mr Woodland said.
The new studies are expected to take two months to complete.
And will then be put on public exhibition before any changes can begin.
“We’re simultaneously working on the mall stuff with this smart communities stuff,” Mr Woodland said.
“It’s starting to align a bit.
“We’re trying to get as much as we can for the money we have, undoubtedly we will need some more money down the track.”